Kerry: If Russia doesn’t de-escalate, it will face isolation
At a news conference in Kiev, US Secretary of State condemned Russian “aggression” and declared American commitment to the Ukraine government and its people’s fight for freedom, democracy and territorial integrity. He denied Moscow’s claim that the Russian-speaking population of Crimea and Ukraine were in danger and called on Russia to de-escalate and withdraw its forces to the barracks and engage directly with the government of Ukraine to work through the issues in a thoughtful way instead of unilateral action. If not, the US and partners will pursue measures to isolate Russia economically and politically. The US and partners will support Ukraine in its difficult steps to strengthen its economy, starting with a $1bn loan guarantee. Russian interests, and they do have interests in Ukraine, must be properly addressed and not through confrontation.
In Washington, Barack Obama said: Russia still has opportunity to help stabilize the situation. Everyone recognizes that Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine but its actions violate international law.